Thomas Wyatt was a Tudor poet at the court of Henry VIII. It was rumoured that he was once the lover of Henry VIII’s second wife, Anne Boleyn. He was arrested in May 1536 at the same time as Anne but wasn’t charged and later released. Wyatt’s poetry included ‘Whoso List to Hunt’, ‘Sometime I Fled the Fire’ and ‘Circa Regna Tonat’. The latter was written while Wyatt was in the Tower and translates as “about the throne the thunder rolls”.
Name: Thomas Wyatt
Title/s: Knight (Sir)
Birth: c. 1503 at Allington Castle, Kent, England
Death: 11 October 1542 at Clifton Maybank House, Dorset, England
Buried: Sherborne Abbey, Dorset, England
Spouse: Elizabeth Brooke 1503-1560
Children: Thomas Wyatt the Younger 1521-1554
Parents: Sir Henry Wyatt 1460-1537 & Anne Skinner ?-?
Siblings: Henry Wyatt ?-? / Margaret Lee c.1506-1543
Noble Connections: Wyatt supposedly had a relationship with Henry VIII’s second wife, Anne Boleyn. Wyatt was arrested along with George Boleyn, Henry Norris, William Brereton, Francis Weston and Mark Smeaton, accused of adultery with Anne but eventually released. Wyatt’s son, also called Thomas Wyatt, led a rebellion against Mary I in 1554 to restore Jane Grey to the throne or put Princess Elizabeth on the throne.
Controversy: The main controversy surrounding Thomas Wyatt is his supposed relationship with Henry VIII’s second wife, Anne Boleyn. It is said that Wyatt and Anne had a relationship and Wyatt backed off when Henry VIII became interested in her. Some of his poetry seems to reference Anne and their relationship without mentioning her by name, and he was arrested for adultery with her, although he wasn’t tried and was eventually released.
Works of Fiction:
- Jones, Nicholas, Mistrustful Minds (2014)
Portrayals on Screen:
- Jamie Thomas King, The Tudors, 2007-2008, 14 episodes
- Brigden, Susan, Thomas Wyatt: The Heart’s Forest (2012)
- Rebholz, R A., Wyatt: The Complete Poems (1978)
- Shulman, Nicola, Graven With Diamonds: The Many Lives of Thomas Wyatt: Courtier, Poet, Assassin, Spy (2011)
- Thomson, Patricia, Sir Thomas Wyatt and His Background (1964)
- Wilkinson, Josephine, The Early Loves of Anne Boleyn (2009)